Factors To Consider While Choosing A Web Host In Kenya

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Web Host In Kenya

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With more and more Kenyan businesses realizing the need to maintain an online presence, website performance has become part of a brand’s projection.  Your website’s appearance, content, loading speeds and uptime say a lot about your brand. While you control appearance, search engine optimisation and content through good website design, factors like loading speeds and uptime are largely dependent on your choice of a web host. This can make or break your website visitors’ experience. Here are some factors to consider the next time you are shopping for a web host in Kenya.

Storage

Your website’s content has to be stored somewhere. A while ago, disk storage was perhaps the biggest cost factor in web hosting. But with cloud storage, web hosts have found more flexibility in storage which has been passed on to the clients. Your storage needs are largely dependent on two factors;

•    Content type – A TV broadcasting station will have huge storage demands than a bank because video takes up more space than text data. Your storage needs must reflect your business needs in content.

•    The scale of operations – A customer database of 1 million clients will definitely have higher storage needs than a 50,000 client database.

Bandwidth

A potential customer will have an impression of your website depending on the first 60 seconds or so of hitting the ENTER button to load your website. A customer who is in a hurry to compare several offers during the holiday season will most likely leave out a slow loading website.

Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer in a second. With the advent of 4G networks in Kenya, most web hosts can promise at least 1 megabyte per second. But higher bandwidth translates into higher costs.

Consider the content you are serving when picking bandwidth. Heavier content like video needs higher content to enable faster fetching, while text files will readily load on modest bandwidth.

Add-ons

While businesses depended on professional web designers to operate and maintain websites in the past, web hosts have made it easy for ordinary people to reasonably do so with moderate tech skills.  Back end operations like uploading content, adding or removing web pages, or making new email addresses can be done easily these days.

Consider your business needs in software. If you are a small business with a need to self-maintain an online store, you will need a web host who makes it easy to do most of the techy stuff like adding a shopping cart, a client database, an email system and so on.

A Control Panel (C-panel) is a standard consideration. Ensure that it comes loaded with a database system (e.g. MySQL), a file transfer system (FTP), mail forwarding as lowest denominators. Compare the add-ons offered by different web hosts for the same price.

Uptime and security

It goes without saying that your website will only be online if the web server is up and running. If a web host keeps its web servers in Kenya, you would need to see that they have proper power back up plans.

Security is also a big factor in a web host’s uptime.  Cyber attacks like Denial of Service and ransomware attacks are a growing threat. A web host must show that it has robust security systems in place and backups to counter these threats.

Luckily, you can see how a web host scores in uptime ranking on a number of website hosts review sites. Google also tracks web host uptimes very well.

Scalability

As your business grows, your web host will need to keep up. A larger client database will translate into larger storage demands. A wider office network will demand higher bandwidth for video conferencing and so on.  While most web hosts have a number of packages offered depending on needs, it should be easy and seamless to move from a lower package to a higher one.

Customer service

If your website is self-maintained, it goes without saying that you will need professional help at some point when you encounter tech jargon e.g. A- tables.  You will need someone who can pick up the phone fast and guide you through what you need to do. This may be time-critical e.g. adding a new offer on Christmas Eve, so you need a responsive team.

There are a number of reputable web hosts in Kenya. With the above factors in mind, you can confidently pick a web host who will keep your website and online brand presence up and running.

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